26-year-old Stephen is an accomplished trombonist, conductor and guitarist, and has even conducted at Glastonbury Music Festival. He has also performed for Prince Charles and has played alongside Sting. On top of this, Stephen won the 2009 BBC Radio 2 Brass Soloist of the Year competition.
Sadly, Stephen was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma in February 2016. He is currently undergoing treatment and has been told that a blood stem cell donation from a matching donor is his best chance of survival.
If you are aged 17-55 and in general good health, you could be a matching donor for Stephen, or anyone else in his position.
Stephen's appeal has spawned its own 'Acrobat Challenge', where participants perform ‘The Acrobat’ – a well known piece of music amongst Stephen’s fellow trombonists – and nominate others to do the same. The challenge was started to help raise money for a specialist treatment which Stephen needs before he can have a blood stem cell transplant. Fortunately, the £90,000 target has been surpassed and the challenge is now also being used to encourage people to register as potential blood stem cell donors.
Some famous faces have got involved, including Katherine Jenkins and Nicholas Lyndhurst - check out their challenge with the English National Opera Orchestra here.
Stephen's mum, Jo said: "Stephen's cancer is currently out of control and progressing with new cancer showing on his past two scans. His clinical team are trying to regain control and reduce the cancer so that a stem cell transplant can take place, unfortunately, they are also struggling to find a suitable match at this time."
You can follow Stephen’s journey on Twitter @Stephen_Journey and under the hashtag #SwabForSykes.
Check your eligibility
Your age, location and current health status are important. Check to see if you can become a blood stem cell donor.
Your age, location and health are importantSee if you are eligible
As a registered donor, you will be on standby to save life.
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Before you register, please check that you are able to donate by looking at the list below.
You will NOT be able to register if you have any of the following conditions:
- Weight under 7 stone 12lbs/50kg
- Obesity (i.e. body mass index (BMI) >40)
- Severe heart, lung or kidney diseases
- Severe illness of the central nervous system
- Severe mental health conditions
- Severe metabolic diseases
- Addictions (alcohol, drugs, tablets)
- Severe tropical infectious diseases
- Infectious diseases like HIV, Hepatitis B or Hepatitis C, Syphilis
- Systemic autoimmune diseases or other severe chronic illnesses (e.g. diabetes or rheumatism)
- Cancer (including being cancer-free, but having had cancer in the past). Exception: Basalioma and cervical carcinomain situ (if fully removed)
- Diseases of the haematopoeitic system (blood disorders)
If you have or have had in the past, a chronic or serious condition, or take any medication regularly, please discuss this with a member of our team for initial guidance by calling us on T:020 8747 5620 or sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.